Crochety

jen's afghanEvery so often, my grandmother would invite some of her friends over to her apartment. All of them were Swiss and spoke Swiss. The women would sit in Grammie’s front room, each with their own handicraft project. The sounds of talking and laughing and gossiping – all in a language we couldn’t understand – along with the clickity click of knitting needles filled the air.

Grammie’s front room had two sofas. They each leaned up against one of the walls. Because the backs were slanted, a tunnel of sorts would naturally present itself. My sister Jen and I simply couldn’t resist. So while these women were talking, sipping coffee, and clickity-clicking their knitting needles, Jen and I would secretly slip behind one of the sofas to eavesdrop.

Now, as I said, they were speaking entirely in Swiss, so eavesdrop is a funny way to put it since we couldn’t understand a word they said. And yet, that’s exactly what we would do. Listen in to their conversations. Funny.

Later on, after they had all left, Jen and I would open up the drawers of the big cabinet in which Grammie kept all of her paraphernalia for her handicrafts. We would each carefully select a pair of knitting needles and take them over to one of the couches. We would sit there, clicking the needles against each other (no yarn) and speak back and forth to each other using our own gobbledegook, pretending all the while that we were speaking Swiss. As I write this, I simply can’t think why we thought that was fun. However, we certainly did.

I would venture to guess that when any of my siblings and my Gloor cousins think about Grammie, she is knitting or crocheting. I have a cedar chest full of baby clothes she knitted for me – sweaters, caps, booties, and hats. I’m sorry to say Court never wore a single one of the items. For one thing, (God bless her sweet and tender heart) they were always kind of oddly shaped. Very long sleeves, for example. And the booties were enormous – big enough to fit a 5-year-old. But I love every single one of the items and haven’t – even after all of these years – been able to throw a single one away. I’ll leave that for my kids and grandkids.

When I was in high school, Grammie made me a beautiful afghan in a pale yellow afghanyellow. It was too pretty to keep out, I thought. So I put it in my cedar chest. I have tried bringing it out throughout the years, but I always put it back because I’m afraid it will get dirty or torn. Isn’t that silly? I need to get a grip and proudly display it.

All this is to say that I inherited my love for crocheting from Grammie. I have made afghans for my grandkids, my friends, my family, and anyone else I can

Afghan in Jen's living room.

Afghan in Jen’s living room.

think of. I really have simply run out of recipients for my afghans.

I recently made an afghan for my 5-year-old grandson Joseph for his birthday. Joseph and his family live in Vermont, and we frequently communicate via Facetime. One of Joseph’s favorite things is to eat Oreo cookies with his papa on Facetime. They will each dip an Oreo in a beverage (milk for Joseph, coffee for Papa) and enjoy its chocolaty taste together. So when I spotted the instructions for this Oreo afghan, it was immediately a must-do.

The afghan took considerable time, but I enjoyed every minute of it. When the work became tedious, I would picture Joseph’s face when he opened up the package and saw all of those Oreos!joseph afghan

As an aside, despite the fact that Grammie was a voracious knitter and crocheter, I never learned to knit, and she was not the one who taught me to crochet. I was taught by my Aunt Myrta – my dad’s sister – who patiently worked with me as I learned to make a crochet stitch. My first projects were potholders made out of granny squares.

I used to wonder why Myrta taught me to crochet instead of Grammie, but now that I’m a grandmother, I know the reason. As my granddaughters have gotten old enough to crochet, I find I simply don’t know how to teach them. I have to get over that as I would love to pass along the skill to them.

By the way, I have a vague recollection that at one point in his youth, I taught Court how to crochet. He made a scarf. I wonder if he remembers.

 

6 thoughts on “Crochety

  1. Three thoughts:
    I don’t enjoy crocheting or knitting. Boo hoo. I so wish I did.
    Maggie won first place one year at our county fair for the sweater she crocheted. She was probably in 6th grade that year. She still loves to crochet. The legacy continues.
    I have 2 cedar chests full of Grammie’s crocheted pieces!
    P.S. How did Grammie not voice annoyance that we were behind those sofas when her friends were visiting?!

    • Grammie didn’t voice annoyance at anything we did. Also, we thought we were sneaky, but she undoubtedly knew full well we were behind the sofa listening in!

  2. O, Kris, this is my favorite post of yours. The love among you and all your family is almost palatable. What a wonderful time you girls and Dave grew up in. Thanks for sharing this loving account. Have you ever considered having the pale yellow afghan framed?

  3. Love stories of Grammie.. She didn’t teach me to knit either. But I taught myself out of sheer determination to emulate her and made just a very few things. Sometimes I think of returning to it. That is a lovely pale yellow yarn she used in the afghan! It must have been her yellow period ! She made me a sweater for my senior picture out of that same yarn. I too have a cedar chest full of her things, amongst them: an apron she used to wear. It’s well worn . Always , everyday, as long as I remember she had an apron on . I love remembering that sweet sound of the Swiss language. I learned German in high school in an effort to decode what she and mom ( the aforementioned Myrta) was saying. Of course , it wasn’t possible because Swiss is spoken differently depending on the canton you are from! Thanks for this lovely train of memories in this beautifully written post , Kris! How neat that Oreo afghan you made was…

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